U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 19 mins

Bristol-Myers (BMY), Incyte to Advance Clinical Program

Zacks Equity Research

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY and Incyte Corporation INCY recently announced that the companies will advance their clinical development program. The clinical development program evaluates the combination of Incyte’s investigational oral selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor epacadostat, with the former’s immuno-oncology therapy Opdivo into phase III studies.

The combination will be evaluated for the treatment of first-line non-small cell lung cancer across the spectrum of PD-L1 expression and first-line head and neck cancer.

Both the companies are expanding the ECHO-204 phase I/II study to include anti-PD-1/PD-L1 relapsed/refractory melanoma cohorts.

We remind investors that both the companies entered into a collaboration agreement in 2014. The trial will be funded by both the companies.

The program includes a broad range of clinical trials studying Opdivo, across all phases, including Phase III in a variety of tumor types. The program has enrolled more than 25,000 patients.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s share price has decreased 18.1% in the last twelve months, while the Zacks classified Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry gained 3.9%.

We remind investors that Opdivo is approved for varied indications in both the EU and the U.S. Opdivo has received approvals for several indications including melanoma, head and neck, lung, kidney and blood cancer. The Opdivo+Yervoy regimen is also approved in multiple markets for the treatment of melanoma.

The drug recorded sales of $3.4 billion in 2016, up from $942 million in 2014. Bristol-Myers is working on expanding the label of Opdivo further. Opdivo became the first PD-1 inhibitor to be approved for a hematological malignancy – classical Hodgkin lymphoma in both the U.S. (May 2016) and the EU (Nov 2016). In Nov 2016, Opdivo gained the FDA approval for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.

Label expansion into additional indications would give the product access to a higher patient population and increase the commercial potential of the drug.

Incyte has signed clinical trial collaboration agreements with Merck MRK and Roche RHHBY to evaluate epacadostat with their respective anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 agents in phase I/II studies.

Zacks Rank

Bristol-Myers Squibb currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

More Stock News: 8 Companies Verge on Apple-Like Run

Did you miss Apple's 9X stock explosion after they launched their iPhone in 2007? Now 2017 looks to be a pivotal year to get in on another emerging technology expected to rock the market. Demand could soar from almost nothing to $42 billion by 2025. Reports suggest it could save 10 million lives per decade which could in turn save $200 billion in U.S. healthcare costs.

A bonus Zacks Special Report names this breakthrough and the 8 best stocks to exploit it. Like Apple in 2007, these companies are already strong and coiling for potential mega-gains. Click to see them right now >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Roche Holding AG (RHHBY): Free Stock Analysis Report
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report
Incyte Corporation (INCY): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.